After being seen on film slamming a man’s head into a plexiglass panel during an arrest in September, a former Wilmington police officer has been charged with excessive force.
In connection with two separate incidents that occurred in September, former police officer Samuel Waters, 27, has been charged with felony counts of perjury and tampering with public records, as well as misdemeanor charges of third-degree assault, official misconduct, and falsifying a business record. If convicted on all counts, he could face a sentence of up to 13 years in prison.
The first incident that led to Waters’ indictment happened in September during a domestic violence call. Waters allegedly placed his nightstick into the back of a man’s neck when another officer attempted to handcuff him during the arrest.
Prosecutors said the man was hunched over the back of a car, his hands behind his back, and was not confrontational or violent with the officers who were arresting him.
Waters confronted Dwayne Brown at a convenience shop in south Wilmington nine days later, after police got a call from a local daycare center reporting that a man had harassed employees frequently. The man had been in the daycare multiple times, shouting and making inappropriate comments to the staff, according to police.
Waters approaches Brown and speaks to him briefly before grabbing his arm and banging his head into a plexiglass panel two times before they both collapse to the floor, according to surveillance cameras inside the business.
Waters was sacked from the police force on January 5th.
Brown has filed a federal civil rights complaint against Waters, whose lawyers have moved to dismiss the case.
Brown was not being “combative, physically violent, aggressively resisting arrest, or seeking to elude arrest by flight,” according to the lawsuit.
According to the lawsuit, Waters never identified himself as a police officer and did not issue a warning that the use of force might be utilized, as required by department policy.
Brown was allegedly carried outside the business, where Waters continued to use excessive force, according to the lawsuit. According to the lawsuit, Brown feared he would be killed during this time.
Waters was also accused of uttering the “N-word” during the arrest, according to Brown’s lawsuit. Brown, a Black man, also said that Waters, a white man, has a history of “inappropriate behavior in dealing with other members of the Black community. He is widely known and feared as a bully.”
“The evidence in this case shows a clear and disturbing pattern of violence and deception,” Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings said in a statement Monday. “The defendant repeatedly abused a position of trust and authority and then subsequently lied about it.
“We don’t tolerate this kind of misconduct by anyone – let alone from someone who swore an oath to protect his community – and we will prosecute his crimes to the fullest extent of the law.”